Two on August 20th

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This August 20th marks two years of marriage.  I’ve neglected this blog to a ridiculous extent (and almost thought of shutting it down) but one of the main reasons I (re)started blogging was to 1) write and to 2) record my memories of my marriage…. especially the good memories. Mainly because when I look at all my diaries from my childhood and teenage years, they are filled with records of my no-good-crappy-days. Now and then there is an entry from an AWESOME-DAY or entries from my vacation days. Needless to say, I realize now that I use writing as a way to process things. Being an extrovert, I spent the normal days and good days bubbling around people. It was only the bad days that would push me to lock myself alone in my room and fish my diary out and spill my feelings and thoughts onto its pages.

And with marriage…. I wanted to record the good memories on this blog. Because I knew, going in, that marriage could be some tough business. But I also knew the good moments would outweigh the difficult ones. And I wanted to read about those good moments when I was working through a difficult one.

The failure of recording the good moments aside, this marriage really has been the best things that’s happened to me. I’m pretty sure I wake up every morning wanting to pinch myself looking around at the life my husband and I have created and are working hard to create.

My marriage is made of two people who are opposites in many of their strengths. My husband is incredible at numbers, managing his money, responsibility, being a provider, staying focused and working his butt off. While I do like to think of myself as a hard worker, I know my skills are in analysis, language and logic. When we get into a fight or conflict, these strengths can shoot ourselves in the foot. But the truth is, we both know how badly we need each other. And I love that we have learnt how to fight. We have developed a dance for our fights now. Stages that we go through, familiar steps and rhythms, knowing resolution is around the corner…and that’s because of the strengths that we have in common: compassion, respect for each other, trust in each other and fighting hard for this marriage that we both believe in and work HARD for. Together, we are committed to making each other’s dreams come true and following God’s guidance in our lives.  Without each other, we would not have been as successful at building both of our professional and demanding careers. When I felt God guiding me to him, I also felt God telling me that much would be expected of our generosity – without him, I wouldn’t be able to give as generously to charities and other people God directs us to.

As our careers grow, we accompany each other to work parties, dinners with our bosses, charity galas, cocktail receptions. I love watching him move, working the room, especially when it is an event I’ve had to drag him to. And most especially when someone comes up to me and says, “So your husband was telling me that you…”

All the fancy dinners and glitz aside…. my favourite moments of marriage have been the simplest ones. First and foremost, how he is the cutest goofball I’ve met. And that he thinks the same of me. That my crazy doesn’t scare him away, in fact, he thinks life would be so dull without it. How when we get into bed we automatically pull each other close, point our toes so that the tops of our feet rub against each other and press our foreheads together. How those moments before sleep are usually filled with kisses on the nose, neck nuzzles or silly stories, goofy sounds or animated voices, and laughter. A lot of laughter. Or the time recently, when I was down with the flu. It must have been 3 a.m. when a coughing fit hit me. I didn’t really wake up. I was vaguely aware that the fit made me sit up in bed and then fall back into my pillow with a burning chest. And that my husband said my name. Next thing I know, I’m being pulled up and a spoon of cough syrup is in my mouth, followed by a second that mostly dribbles out of my mouth. Which he cleans up. Then he pulls me onto his arm and pulls the covers over us. And then it was morning. And the first night since being sick that I felt so rested.

I am thankful for a marriage that is filled with such moments. Which brings me such comfort and rest. And makes me feel so loved. And for the man who chose me and believes in working hard to build this marriage.

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the small lessons

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the other friday, husband was returning from his out-of-town project. he had been away for two weeks. you can only imagine that i could barely sit still once 4 p.m. struck and needed it to be 6. pm. immediately. ! so i could see him, hug him, kiss him again.

well the day did finally end. and as soon as i got home, all i wanted to do was kiss him, hug him, sit on him, bug him… you know, the usual 🙂 as we like to do, we climbed under the covers and wrapped each other up in our arms and chatted and chatted away. about everything we had been wanting to share and say with each other face-to-face. i don’t care about how many advances we’ve made in communication technology, some things are just meant to shared and savoured in person 🙂

we talked about a few things that were on my mind, a few things i was worried about, stressed about. and afterwards, i just lay in husband’s arm, watching the evening lights start to stream in through our blinds. the evening city lights. my mind was engulfed with thoughts – thoughts of gratitude for getting to live on such a swanky street downtown, thoughts of uncertainty about the future, thoughts of deadlines and projects looming over me. so consumed with these thoughts, i didn’t even realize i had started to mindlessly hum a song. my daydreaming was broken by the sound of something akin to a drowning cat singing along to my song. i looked up at husband’s face and found him staring at me with a big goofy grin, annoyingly humming along to my song.

i attacked him with tickles and he caught my arms and squeezed me tiiiiight. and you know, it was one of those moments. one of those moments where i thought: this is what marriage is. sure it’s about all the important things like: being legally responsible for each other, being financially responsible for the mortgage and the bills, extending family-sizes, becoming responsible adults together (!) but it’s also about simplicity. and the most simple, perfect, love. goofiness and tight hugs.

and man, it’s such a source of solace and joy to me through the waves that life can bring.

ain’t that the truth.

vows

had a thought and wanted to pen it down

although the traditional western vows are definitely not part of an indian wedding ceremony, husband and i wanted to incorporate them in somehow. we wrote personal vows to each other that ended with a reciting of the traditional vows

to have and to hold,

from this day forward,

for better, for worse,

for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

until death do us part

i think husband and i are slowly realizing that marriage is a realization of the vows we spoke on our wedding day, and a challenge to keep them. and in that sense, it is a mystery – in every meaning of that word. there’s exhiliration, trepidation, fear, hope, and excitement. curiousity over what lies around the corner, at the next fork in the road. recently i told someone that marriage is helping me better understand the mysteries of life and who God is, and it is so very true.  it’s not about what cards we’ll be dealt with in our marriage, it’ll be about how we play them. and isn’t that a lot to wonder about….

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new revelation

today husband watched a bollywood film, called kabhi alvida na kehna (translation: never say goodbye). husband is funnily enough a huge sucker for 3 to 4 hour long bollywood films. it’s up there on his list of favourite-ways-to-relax. i’m not complaining, there’s something about curling up on the couch for a bollywood film that takes me back to the simpler days of childhood.

i digress.

the plot is (in one sentence) about the ups and downs of relationships, and the really sad paths broken relationships can take.

once the movie ended, i started to get a stream of really sweet texts from husband. and that’s when i had my new revelation – if ever am in dire need of hearing some voluntary sweet nothings from my man, all i need to do is pop in one of these babies!

but really… is there anything sweeter than hearing your lover profess things like i love that you’re my wife, you’re so beautiful, i love the security i have in our relationship, and i promise to fight for us especially during our downs. 

and then we got to have a wonderful chat about our future dreams for our marriage… suffice to say, this was a moment that definitely made today a great day in my life 🙂

 

dear cjane

thank you for articulating something i have been, and still am, learning slowly day by day… posting it on my blog so that i can come back to it as many times as i need to.

“I came to realize this:  we think we go from partner to partner because there will be someone “better” for us. In reality, no one is better for us, we just get better for ourselves.

And this: relationships work when we sacrifice negative beliefs about ourselves, and in that process we become the best thing that’s ever happened to anyone.

And this: a successful marriage is about two people engaged and dedicated to overcoming selfishness–for the rest of their lives.”

on being true to yourself

as i near a point of big change in my life (graduation, moving cities, settling into a new home, a new job, a new career, first year of married life living together…) i can’t help but reflect on decisions i’ve made and how they now affect my present and will affect my future.

when we got engaged, we had to deal with our share of negative energy – people who thought we were too young, people who were jealous, people who had ‘advice’ we really didn’t want to hear. and then when we wanted to get married while i was in law school, we again had to deal with criticism of that decision. but you see, for us, getting engaged was, yes, about that next step in our relationship. but even bigger than that, it was also about making choices that glorify God.

husband and i knew we would never live together before marriage. it was more than just physical temptation and sex. there is an ebb and flow of creating a life, habits, routines, traditions, family together that we held as sacred. it was something we wanted to create with the assurance of God’s blessing.

our wedding day was pure magic. and to our delight, our love had deepened, we could feel the solid foundation of commitment beneath us, holding us up, and drawing us closer together. and as we spent the next four weeks together, the joy of living together really resounded for us. it was so new, so incredible, and so satisfying. and we were so grateful that we chose to wait to live together. because had we done so, we would have truly robbed ourselves of those moments. i know that the moment of ‘moving in together’ is special for couples who choose it, but i can say with certainty that every emotion and experience is magnified by marriage.

it also made me think of why so many couples hit a low after their wedding day. there is so much excitement building up to that special and incredible day, and then they return back to the life and home they’ve already established, they can’t help but ask themselves, “i thought things were supposed to feel different now?” or “so that’s it?” whereas for us, the high continued. and because we have yet to live a full year together yet, it still continues!

i have unmarried friends who live together now. while in law school, i would sometimes feel sad that my husband and i didn’t have that opportunity. that we were missing out. (i should say, these include the years we were dating and engaged!) but now that we’re graduating, i see how many of these couples are going to have to stop living together, either due to where they’ll be working, financial reasons, familial reasons etc. while on the flipside, husband and i have bought our first home, and finally get to start living together! this was another moment of gratitude for me, as i thanked God for the strength He gave us to wait, to be patient, and make the right choices. choices that now anchor us together, that despite the season of separation and fighting temptation, we now get to spend the foreseeable future together 🙂 and all with His blessings supporting us.